The Australian Border Force (ABF), BAKAMLA (Indonesian Coast Guard), the Directorate General of Surveillance for Marine and Fisheries Resources (PSDKP) and the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) are marking the fifth coordinated maritime patrol on the Indonesia – Australia maritime boundary.
Since 2018, these joint patrols between Maritime Border Command (MBC), which sits within the Australian Border Force, BAKAMLA, PSDKP and AFMA aim to combat and mitigate illegal activities impacting the prosperity of our countries. This patrol is a key part of the commitment to strengthening maritime security, as part of the Maritime Plan of Action which implements the Indonesia-Australia Joint Declaration on Maritime Cooperation.
"The COVID-19 pandemic has not impacted our ongoing cooperation, the strength of Australia and Indonesia's maritime security arrangements and ability to coordinate efforts on-water is seen today through the achievement of the fifth Operation (Gannet 5)" said VADM A'an Kurnia, Chief of BAKAMLA.
The GANNET 5 is part of continued efforts by Indonesia and Australia to safeguard our territorial waters. The upcoming operation will be carried out through integrated communication among the involved agencies, information exchange, and a joint coordinated patrol by vessels from BAKAMLA, PSDKP and MBC.
The primary operational objective for GANNET 5 is to detect, deter, and combat illegal activities at sea and also to strengthen the cooperation between the related Indonesian and Australian agencies. The focus for this operation includes; illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing; people smuggling and human trafficking; environmental protection and transnational serious organised crimes that occur within the joint operational area. The key geographical focus for this operation is the eastern region of Indonesia that shares a maritime boundary with Australia.
"This is one of our collaborations with Australia within the framework of the Indonesia-Australia Fisheries Surveillance Forum, even though the patrol is carried out in the conditions of the COVID-19 pandemic, the operation is strictly implemented using the COVID-19 prevention protocols", Antam Novambar, Plt. Director General of Marine and Fishery Resources Supervision said.
GANNET 5 commenced in March 2021, with a workshop to share knowledge on Maritime Domain Awareness, conducted between ABF, BAKAMLA, PSDKP and AFMA. Since March, regular online meetings and information sharing has been conducted to discuss the requirements for the first joint patrol starting today (Monday, 24 May) and running through to Wednesday 26 May.
During the operation, BAKAMLA will deploy the patrol vessel KN Tanjung Datu-301, commanded by COL. Arif Rahman. This vessel is equipped with 12.7mm calibre heavy machine-guns and a 5.56 calibre DSAR-15P personal defence weapon. The information exchange will also be supported by officers from the Indonesia Maritime Information Centre (IMIC) located at BAKAMLA headquarters in Jakarta.
The ABF will deploy the patrol vessel ABFC Cape Nelson, along with two aircraft to conduct aerial surveillance during the operation. An AFMA officer will be embarked on the aircraft in support of fisheries surveillance and monitoring activities. The patrols will be supported by MBC and AFMA, located within ABF headquarters in Canberra.
The PSDKP will deploy patrol vessels (KP) Orca 4, KP. Hiu 14 and air surveillance aircraft. In addition to targeting IUU fishing practices, this operation will also target illegal Fish Aggregation Devices (FADs) on the Indonesia-Australia border.
Rear Admiral Mark Hill, Commander for Maritime Border Command said this operation increases our national security.
“Australia is ever vigilant when it comes to threats within our maritime domain. However, these are shared threats which impact not just Australia but our region. The economic prosperity, safety and security of our communities is ensured where Indonesian and Australia continue to cooperate through Operation Gannet and other similar cross border maritime security operations," Rear Admiral Hill said.
About Australian Border Force and Maritime Border Command
The Australian Border Force (ABF) is Australia's frontline border law enforcement agency and customs service. Maritime Border Command is a multi-agency task force within the ABF that is enabled by ABF and Australian Defence Force (ADF) assets and resources to implement a Whole-of-Australian-Government effort, at the operational level, to protect civil maritime security interests through the provision of effects in the Australian maritime domain.
ABF maintains Australia's sovereignty over its borders to ensure it can detect and respond to a range of concurrent security challenges, including illicit trade, unauthorised maritime arrivals, and illegal fishing and other regionally dispersed security threats over the full extent of Australia's air, maritime and terrestrial domains.
The Indonesian Coast Guard (BAKAMLA) was established according to the Law number 32 of 2014 on Maritime Affairs. The law mandates BAKAMLA to conduct safety and security patrols within Indonesian territorial waters. The law also mandates the agency to secure, observe, and to prevent illegal activities within Indonesia's maritime jurisdiction, and also to assist with Search and Rescue and other duties within the national defence system.
BAKAMLA is committed to safeguard Indonesian territorial waters. The agency is supported by numerous maritime assets, maritime regional offices and fleet bases that are spread along 3 Indonesian archipelagic sea lanes, and also Safety and Security Monitoring Stations throughout Indonesia.
The main mission of PSDKP is the prevention of IUU fishing in Indonesian waters, which has caused a substantial loss for Indonesia's fishing industry. To prevent illegal fishing, PSDKP has conducted joint-operations with the Indonesian maritime security agencies such as Navy, Water Police, Sea and Coast Guard, BAKAMLA and Customs and conducts coordinated patrols with international partners including Australia.
IUU fishing activities in Indonesian waters have caused huge losses for Indonesia. Overfishing, overcapacity, threats to the preservation of fish resources, unfavorable fishery business climate, the weakening of the competitiveness of firms and the marginalization of fishermen are the real impact of illegal fishing and destructive fishing activities. Sustainable fishing practices are essential as Indonesia and the Region recovers from the global COVID-19 pandemic
About Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA):
The Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) is the lead agency responsible for the efficient management and sustainable use of fisheries resources within the Australian Fishing Zone (AFZ) on behalf of the Australian community. AFMA is committed to the deterrence of illegal fishing activity and enforces its provisions under Australian law to investigate and prosecute individuals involved in illegal fishing activity in the AFZ and Torres Strait Protected Zone.
Managing these fisheries resources requires international collaboration and cooperation. AFMA links with our international partners to inform Australia's maritime domain awareness and works collectively to counter IUU fishing in waters adjacent to Australia. AFMA uses a multifaceted approach that recognises the dynamic and diverse nature of IUU fishing. Our sustained and coordinated efforts have been successful in reducing the incidence of IUU activity within and adjacent to the AFZ.